Coming up: Abandon all assessments ye who enter here. Real estate values are questions and destruction required. Will Sugartown survive the demolition? Will Adella's Inner Child return from her Icing Tower and join in the final bricking of Gingerhome? A rapid de-soulment of the home, as home-gyms and devices are scuttled into corners. Assassins lie in wait in the most relaxing of places. Will our heroine survive with decolletage intact? And the last of a series of cancelled trials towers over the week with an avaricious hold on our time and mental energies. Will it bumpety bump again? Will it go? Will we finally and terrifyingly be trial-twerked??
Read on, gentler, reader to quell your questioning agitation....
They're Not Xmas Lights, They're MLK Lights!
Our landlady is getting the house refinanced. This has required that we correct our errant lease agreement (which apparently applied to years other than the ones in which we currently live due to some daring feats of time travel that has opened up all sorts of irremediable paradoxes that are, I assure, most amusing). It also requires that we allow an assessor onto the premises.Getting the lease agreement into the mail was quite the endeavor. It seemed to have radar for the "out" box in my office. Quite possibly, it bit a few postal carriers, I'm not. I eventually had to walk it out and hand deliver it to a mailbox. Hopefully, getting the assessor into the home will not be as fraught with hindrance and mayhem! Those little bunnies outside are a wee-bit dangerous.
At our landlady's request, we will be moving the centerpiece of our home-gymnasium - Andrew's bike and trainer - out of the living room stardom and back into the obscurity of our bike mausoleum/garage. Sheltered and pampered little house bike that it is, we hope it can still hold its own with the rugged outdoor bikes. We also hope the outdoor bikes aren't too expressive in their jealousy that indoor bike has gotten so much more attention since the weather turned hibernal and the hubby's wrist turned all hurty.
But the hurt is healing exponentially each day (knock on wood). is still being careful, but he seems to be functioning without his brace and without much ibuprofen at this point. He has a session at the gym with a trainer to help him continue on his masochistic path unabated today. With any luck he'll be off trying to kill himself on a road bike instead of a mountain bike by this afternoon. And back to his usual masochism within a few weeks. In his astounding sagacity, he has sworn to stay off a mountain or skis for at least, like, a week. Clearly he's being overcautious here. A whole week? But this really is no facile proclamation for such an addict. The DTs he's experienced this week have been profound.
Oh injuries. I know about persistent tweaks and twinges. Though my foot has improved by (no-)leaps and (absolutely no-)bounds, there are still some things I'm not super comfortable doing. I've done a little bit of a slow running in tiny amounts, and that seems ok, but pushing it much past that or trying to run at my regular pace is definitely still cause for tiny neural alarm bells. A low current electrical jolt may hiss "snapping, snapping, something may be snapping" if I load up a bent arch.
In a fit of caution verging on prudence, I'm taking this month's tango experience off and sucking up the uninsured aspect of making an appointment with a physical therapist. I really do miss running with the fellow. And he's had so much time to enjoy running in my absence since the end of November, when I officially hung up the shoes. The shoes, incidentally, are acting out. I really should just carry them about with me a bit to reassure them that we are still bonded and connected and I'm there for them in their times of need (except for that primary need of rapidly banging against the ground in a continuous succession... not that one so much).
In other hopefully more fleeting twinges, I think my masseur tried to kill me on Thursday. Usually I trust that he's being rough as part of his ongoing messianic complex to heal all muscles. But, you know, there's a thin line between treatment and torture. I tend to assume if it hurts, that's because it needed working out, but I may draw the line at crepitating cartilage. First he got me in some kind of head lock. Then he made a bound for breaking my sternum! Really, I screamed, I'll talk, I'll talk! Except I had nothing to say. So... I complimented his new beard.
I exaggerate, but he did work on my pectoral muscles in just such a way that I think a nerve got pinched or tendon riled. It hurt a spell to breathe expansively yesterday. Still there today, but less so. I'm just glad it's on my right side, or I'd think I was having a heart attack, despite knowing the cause and effect to give in to that belief. Enough medical emergencies - er, urgencies for one week!
But yes, back to the trainer and its descent to the underworld. It's my understanding that assessors aren't hugely swayed by the relative chicness of our interior decorating chop, Still for our landlady's sake, I do think we'd like to leave the place looking nice for her assessment. Since our pantry is harboring a hostile army of cardboard and other atrocities, I'm thinking it might be a good weekend to clean out the recycling, make that Goodwill run I've been meaning to make, and take down the Christmas decorations!! Andrew thinks the lights can stay up until daylight savings kicks in. I'm not so sure they scream "this is a pricey valuable home," though.
Regardless, I think it's time to say ta-ta to the gingerbread house. It's preserved within an inch of its inanimate "life" so I suspect if we left it alone, it would last until next Christmas without a sniffle. But it's kind of ... well... a little gross to the taste and taking up space. We have enough leftover Christmas candy, that I don't think we need to take any extreme steps, like eating this thing. I foresee a demolition in the near future!
The Devestation of Sugartown - Somewhere in the Distance, Hansel Howls - The gingerbread house has snared its last eager child.
If you'll recall (and why would you bother, since I'm doing it for you, so don't take this intro as any stringent conditional about the verity of the remainder of this bloated sentence), and I "made" a gingerbread house on Christmas Part One. While not enticingly edible, it provided the necessary shot of saccharine glee that only activity-driven desserts can do. As much joy as it brought us, none were quite intoxicated by the siren songs of imbricated gumdrop tiles fixed in sugar tar to gingery-cardboard. For some reason, none of us were incline to eat the darned thing. I believe there was other dessert available. Not quite sure what else to do with it, we've been keeping it on our mantle.
This past month, we'd been renting it out to my inner child. Inner child was going through a bit of a defiant boundary-pushing spell and needed some space, So it was a godsend to have a place just for her. The inner child and I are starting to work things out after the holidays; she still steals up the stairs every night to ask if she can crawl under the covers with me. I think after our long trip to San Francisco (and all those sources of childhood delight - aquarium? zoo? exploratarium?), she's afraid of being left behind again. Maybe a little clingy actually. But she's a child. They're like that, children.
Seems impractical to keep maintaining a separate property now that inner child and I are inseparable again. Also, inner child may have attempted to nibble nibble like a mouse, and can attest to the home's dodgy parody of alimental assets.
Andrew had a lull period in his morning, and that sealed the necessary paperwork condemning our pastry property. Several proposals for safe destruction were considered. Given the imminent arrival of our landlord's assessor, and a general desire not to have candy icing and gumdrops mashed into our carpets, we nixed the indoor arena. There was speculation about which might be the perfect vehicle for a rapid bull dozing. Of course, this would have required performance on our tiny street in full view of all the Canadian pirates, and they may have taken such action as declaration of war (you can't tell with these Canadian Pirates and their complex argot!) We settled on a dual approach: hammer and brick. I dropped the brick.
Andrew followed up with the hammer. The prefab walls were impressively indestructible. I suspect that we could have kept this house for several more Christmasses if we'd so desired. It would hardly have deteriorated from natural conditions, and the quality of materials seems enough to keep the bugs and mice at bay.
I also took down the rest of the Christmas decorations, and Andrew took his bike, at least, from the gymnasium corner of our living room. I suspect our landlady would appreciate it if the rest of the set up were momentarily migrated as well, since there's still a lot of support hardware. Perhaps we should just take the remaining dross and clutter of our living room and pack up our cars for the next few days!
Dial Massage Messiah for Maiming
Now, I hate to cause alarm (unless it's my gradual natural light and creepy chirping birds alarm), but there is a very real possibility that my masseuse, whom I love to pieces, is trying to kill me. I admit that the inherent vulnerability of the situation has rarely escaped me. I disrobe, close my eyes, lay face down on a table, and allow a virtual stranger to pummel, bend, and origami me within an inch of screaming. With the olio of tools and techniques he uses on my neck alone, an apt crime novelist could source her next twenty books.
Then again, living in the human world is all about calculated vulnerabilities. We maunder the sidewalks with faith that no random stranger will extract and wield a weapon against us. We dare to enter the anomie of the interstate with the (misplaced, perhaps) faith that most of our fellow motorists will maintain lane position and safe-enough following distances. We run electrical wires through our homes and use them in the faith that they are generally well-maintained and that the frames they course through are equally stable. Hell, we form emotional bonds precisely by giving others exactly the ammunition required to hurt us should they wish to. We trust ourselves to experts several times a day, many of whom are managing tools that are as noxious as curative in potential.
Which is to say that although my brain does like to remind me that I'm particularly defenseless in the midst of my repose, I'm more likely to be concerned about the mounting sinus pressure bursting from that face pillow, breathing through the tickle-flinch (apparently, my hips are particularly thrashingly ticklish and I'd just as soon avoid assault charges), and the occasional Rabelasian inevitabilities of corporeal form.
Still, I am growing more certain that my masseur may have it out for me. Subconsciously perhaps. Usually the massages hurt. They're somewhat supposed to. I can often distinguish between the positive progressive form of hurt and the malicious sort; but I can't always tell in time. Nick has a fantastic track record of warping, wending, kneading and thumbing at just the border line of a snapping "enough." This last massage, though, perhaps trod past the twilight area into a pretty out and out ouch. He was merrily triturating my clavicle as part of the deep muscle therapy package I'd upgraded myself to, and something went awry. Or so I can divine from the hours and days following. I'm not sure if it's a pinched nerve or an irritated muscle, but there is a decided pain in my pectoral area. It has waned, but not before irradiating into some compensatory upper back twinges. Yes, bring out the rain for my wedding day, my massage specifically targeting my tense upper back has worsened it quite substantially.
A shame, because otherwise it was a lovely massage. Now where's the damned tylenol?!?
The Ensouled Home Placed on Scales
Assessment day has arrived. As is often the case, our major contribution to this glorious holiday consists of "surreptitiously stuffing extraneous dross and clutter into various storage areas; then getting and staying out." Good to be a tenant. The house looks oddly sterile at the moment, with some of the homey "touches" - and by "homey" I mostly mean "gymnasiumey", but also "home-electronicaeeeyiiiieeeeiiiiiooo" - scurried off into the crepuscule. We have so many surfaces! They're all so flat and level. Some of them consist of varying textures! Who knew?
While we're good sports to some degree, we didn't go for the thorough purge. My magnificent sock liana still creeps about our bedroom door. There are little sock-blooms about the house. Andrew's study area still harbors several athletic bags and general paper tsunamis. My big blue ball still sits at the table! And a few work out tools are hidden around the couch. This is just an assessor after all. No need to scrub our presence clean and allow prospective tenants to project their own essence upon the space. Also, we're somewhat lazy, and the bother involved in hiding ourselves from our own home can only be matched by the bother of re-imbuing the home with our post-assessment souls. Very draining, all those rituals and sacrifices and potions required to re-soul a house.
I'm still quite looking forward to getting home and re-mussing the house a bit. At least, pulling out all my random cookery and devices. It's very important to have at least one device with wireless capabilities within any given 6 foot radius of the home. And I have a very complicated system of clothing gyres set up in our laundry room that has currently been condensed into unmanageable piles behind closet doors. I can hear my socks and sweaters crying out in the darkness!
In the meantime, it is apparently Tuesday, and thus a work day. We may or may not have a rather leviathon trial starting tomorrow. Our odds at the OCB (off-court betting - quite hopping for the lawyerly vices) were 40-50 in favor of bumpage. So far, for you home viewers out there keeping score, we've been bumped four times and made it to two trials. We've yet to be twerked, so I'm not ruling that out as an option. In theory we should know out litigious fate around noon today, but this has not always been the case. If the trial is on, I'll know by the scrimmage upon my return from the gym. If it is off, I'll know by the entirely different catch-up scrimmage upon my return. As always, an ambivalent situation. There's plenty pending. Having the trial days back would be nice. On the other hand, there's a pleasant stillness on trial days, and it is nice for our clients to get finality (and for us to be able to get the trial prep devastation off into cached boxes).
Either way, it shall be Tuesday! And I shall have lived it. To the Tuesday! Charge!
Trial a Go-Go
After our spate of bumps and grinds this summer, I had grown admittedly skeptical that family law trials ever truly occurred. This early winter has cured me of such skepticism. Despite all prognostications, our long-cherished cross-jurisdictional mad morass has come to a head and a cultivated coif. Apparently there will be some sort of last minute in lemon-and-limine type cadge for continuance (again!) before the opening ceremonies (Putin strangling a bear - we had to book months in advance, here!). Not from our side, I assure you. Once we get the presentation of final orders from our prior trials together with this one, our office will be roughly twenty tons lighter... we shall reclaim our kitchen closet space with fire bombs and well-suited confidential recycling agents! The office shall breathe again without that raspy rattle of severe congestion.
At any rate, the continuance issue is laughable one - quite sincerely, we all ha-ha'ed heartily at the suggestion. I'm guessing that we will thus be embroiled in this trial nonsense for the next few days. By "we" I mostly mean "my mom." I'll mostly be back here preparing for the other trial we have on Monday (maybe Monday - as always, there's a last minute settlement offer on the table; one that is likely illusory but just reasonable enough to merit a fine spate of scramble with a side of toast) and the labyrinthine temporary orders response already on my plate for maundering mastication. But this is trial! There is always mad rushing. Papers flitting and flickering in and out of existence. Minds surging and ebbing. The quiet at the office has a frenetic feel during these times. Eerily peaceful, but with an undercurrent of virulent uncertainty.
Still, the eye of the storm is a comfortable respite from the perimeters and I plan to enjoy my "break" even if it's overlapping with another storm.
In other news, the assessment seems to have occurred. On returning home, commented on how oddly clean the house looked and speculated that our landlady must have tidied up before the assessor came. I bemusedly reminded him that I had turned dervish that morning, and it had been even cleaner when we both left the house yesterday morning. I'd actually had quite the chance to re-muss the place with several chopping and cooking endeavors in the meantime. The place had been implausibly pristine when I got home a few hours prior. We're not wolves or hoarders or anything, but the usual farrago of comestibles, glasses, free-range cooking gear, electronics, pill bottles, books, and papers frost the fulgent order underlying. Just call it the home's 37 pieces of flair.
Good to be home and for home to be home again. Even if I'm at work. And work remains work still!